Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Settle Me


When God settles a case, it is settled. More so, when you get into a difficult situation you cannot, handle, call on the almighty God, He will answer you. He says in Proverbs 41: “Fear not, I will help you. I have experienced God’s hand of deliverance. This my story


I left the second church service that Sunday afternoon feeling good. The Praise and Worship session really ushered us into God s presence. The songs were melodious and soul searching. And the message of the Pastor was clear - be your brothers/sisters keeper, and always help others whenever you can. I left the service that day with the peace and joy of God in my heart. Having made Jesus Christ the Lord of my life, I made up my mind to always apply biblical teachings.

That was my frame of mind that Sunday afternoon when I headed home, at Okota, Lagos. The road was clear and my car air conditioner was on. I raced down Western Avenue into Ikorodu road, turned off right at Anthony Village and connected the Oshodi-Apapa expressway. This is the day the Lord has made and I shall be glad and rejoice in it. So I thought. I never knew what was waiting for me in front of Berliet Motors, after Ilasa bus stop.

As I coasted down the expressway, I saw a shabbily dressed girl, early 20s, standing beside the service and express lanes of the highway. She waved frantically at the car in front of mine but the driver zoomed past her. As I approached her, she waved again.

A lot of thoughts raced through my mind that moment. This could be an emergency. This girl might just be a lucky victim of ritualists who were terrorizing Lagosians then. Or she might just be in serious trouble and needed urgent help. Besides, the Pastor s message was still ringing in my head. I wanted to play the good Samaritan and help the poor girl. How wrong I was, as I was to find out 30 minutes later.

I stepped on the brakes and anchored my Peugeot 504 saloon car by the road curb a few metres from where the haggard looking girl stood. What must be the problem? I thought, as she ran towards my car. "Mile 2," she blurted out. "Oh no, I am turning off at Cele bus stop," I replied. "If you can drop there and continue your journey, you can hop in." She bounced in. I engaged gear and drove into the expressway.

We had only driven a few metres when she fired her first salvo.

Her left hand shifted and began to caress my right thigh. "Can I keep you company?" she asked in her husky voice. I was disappointed though not startled. I took her for a cheap commercial sex worker (prostitute), and under rated her. Again, how wrong I was as I was to find out later.

I sighed and rebuked her. "Why do you do this kind of business? Is that the best you can do with your life?"

She retorted that it was not her fault and blamed her trade on the bad economy. She reeled out other vague reasons. But I was no longer interested. Highly disgusted, I raced towards Cele bus stop, eager to drop her and go home.

A few passengers stood at Cele that afternoon waiting for buses going to Mile 2. My girl urged me to turn into Okota Road before she drops. I obliged. As I did so, part two of my bizarre encounter started. She began to curse me, rained abuses on me and used unimaginable foul language for daring to, according to her, treat her with disrespect.

Then the first surprise. Still cursing and now visibly angry, her left hand shot out and grabbed my shirt collar, squeezing my throat. Sensing trouble, I kept my cool and pleaded with her to let go. She vehemently refused with vigorous shaking of her head and threw the bombshell, "Settle me!"

"Settle what?" I asked in amazement.

She demanded money, claiming that after making love to her, I must pay her before she can let me go. That was when it dawned on me what my generosity had brought on me.

I was a victim of the settle-me vice, a ploy used by wayward and frustrated loose girls to extort money from supposedly gullible and unsuspecting men. I had heard so many of such stories, and each time I had a good laugh and thought I would never be a victim. And here I was in the clutches of a raw girl, who in normal circumstances, should not be seen with me, let alone have anything to do with her.

Then the alarm! What will neighbors, friends, and colleagues say if they see me in this mess? What will they think of me? What will be my wife’s reaction? Nobody will believe my story.

These "settle me" girls have perfected their art of money extortion. They surprisingly grab a man, raise alarm in a crowded place while demanding a fee for a supposed good time. Trapped in that set up, the male victim wishes that the earth opens and swallows him.

I tried to reason with my angry girl, but she got worse and banged her clenched fist on my car windscreen threatening hell and brimstone. An idea hit me. Drive to the nearest police station and hand this girl over. As I made to drive, she grabbed the steering.

Going further would land us in accident. She was really ready for a showdown.

I still kept my cool hoping she would listen to my wise counsel.

No way. I tried to trick her to leave, she was too smart for that. Then an uncontrollable anger gripped me, driving me to pull her out of the car, beat her up and dump her in the bush. That was a ready option given that nearby Cele bus stop was almost deserted that Sunday afternoon. But a voice in my spirit warned me: No violence! No violence!

In exasperation, I thought, what next? But my girl was not yet finished. In a jiffy, she pulled off her gown and sat beside me in the car stark naked, no panties, no bra. Her left hand was still gripping my collar, her right hand clutching her dirty gown. You needed to see us. We were like a couple acting a movie.

But it was real. I was shocked by her nudity.

Should a girl go to the extent of stripping just to extort money?

I blamed myself. Why on earth did you pick this girl? So many blames. It was then that I remembered God. I prayed to the almighty to bail me out. I spoke in tongues.

Hearing this, she was startled and mocked me saying, "You can continue saying that thing, I will not let you go."

I continued to blast in Tongues. As I did so, her rage slowly began to ebb. I noticed the impact and continued to speak in Tongues. Gradually, she calmed down but continued to hold my collar and was still naked.

Then a young man walked past, saw us and stopped. What is the problem , he asked. I narrated my story, but the tart interrupted, "Did I force you to stop? Did I force you to stop?

You stopped on your own and picked me. I did not force you to stop."

I agreed with her but did not say so. Another passerby intervened. It was difficult getting her to speak. She finally agreed and mumbled an incoherent story. The men pleaded with her to let me go declaring me innocent based on our submissions. And I was determined not to give her any money, for what?

How she wore her dress again, I do not know. As our mediators pleaded with her, she let go my shirt, and still cursing, her eyes darted across the road. I reasoned she was looking for a stone to smash my windscreen since she could not extort any money from me. “Please, leave him and go,” the men pleaded. Frustrated, she continued to rain abuses on me. All this while, my car engine was running, and my hands on the steering. As her right hand swerved to the door handle to open it, I quickly grabbed the gear knob pretending I was lost in thought. I was still praying that this girl should just leave with her trouble.

Suddenly, she jerked the door open and dashed out leaving the door ajar. Simultaneously,. I engaged gear and sped down Okota Road towards the roundabout. The front door slammed shut. I quickly looked through my rear view mirror with an expression of great relief and saw my erstwhile captor with a piece of rock in her hand glaring at my car as I sped away.

I got to my apartment two hours behind schedule. My wife was out of town and my junior brother who lived with me was not in. So this is it, I thought as I settled down on the settee in my living room. I thanked God for my escape. I was particularly happy that we did not attract a crowd of on lookers who would have jeered at me. I played the drama over in mind like a home video. Again, I thanked God. But I swore never to give ladies rides again.

For two weeks, I could not tell anybody the story, not even my brother. When I summoned courage and told my colleagues in the office, they laughed uncontrollably. I did not blame them. I laughed like that when other victims narrated the stories of their encounter with settle me girls.

So what do you think dear reader? I was na├»ve. You may be correct. I acted with zeal without knowledge. That’s more like it. But I vowed never to be a victim again.

And so men watch how you give ladies rides on the highway. The "settle me" wolves may be on the prowl.

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Eric Okeke is a consultant brand storyteller, author and editor who is using brand storytelling to improve business returns in Nigeria. You can reach on ericosamba@yahoo.com, ericokeke@gmail.com



Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Bridal Marketing (4)

How to empower women searching for Mr. Right
There is a social time bomb ticking in many parts of the world. If it is not detonated, it will explode with fatal consequences. Simply put, single women above 30 are finding it increasingly difficult to get husbands, whose supply seems to be reducing daily while demand for them is increasing. Why is this so? There are many reasons. Some are economic, others cultural and sociological. And the message is clear: The struggles of single women to get Mr. Right are building into increasing frustration. They need to be empowered to get the type of husbands they desire.

For some women, many forces stop them from getting husbands. Some of these forces are spiritual and psychological. And they have become a big burden for thousands of women worldwide. This is causing pain, emotional turmoil and regret for many marriageable women and their families. Yet no medium of empowerment seems to be coming. That help has come with my new book on bridal marketing.
The joy of every parent is to train his or her daughter through life and see her get married. This is the desire of every woman. And when she does not marry as at when due, her expectation of becoming a wife and a mother turns into frustration. This has to stop! What does it take for a parent to train a daughter and prepare her for marriage? Plenty of investments, training, care, advice, sacrifice and guidance over the years to equip her properly for the marital challenges she will face when she becomes a man’s wife.

So, what would be the vibes in any family where a girl born 30 years ago matures into a woman; she is well educated and ready for marriage but no husband is forth coming? Family quarrels will begin. Big daughter turns against her mother. This is the trademark of “senior girls” who want to get married, but the vicious forces rocking the market are making it increasingly difficult for them to do so.
The husbands are still there in the market no doubt. But as technology, markets and economies change, so are men changing their bridal perception and attitude to marriage. Besides, many marriageable men especially in the battered economies of African countries are becoming increasingly poor as income falls. If a man is not financially able, how can he marry? A good number of men have discovered to their dismay that though they are willing to marry, they are not able. There is pain on both sides of the marriage divide.
But the pressure is more on women because their biological clocks are ticking. The older they become, the less marketable they become in the marriage market. Not so with men. Even at 45, a man can comfortably marry a 20-year old girl so long as he is financially able. This challenge explains the statement, “I can and I will.” Five words loaded with desire and action. The problem I have identified for men and women, who want to marry, is not with the desire- I want or I will. It is with the ability to fulfill that desire, that is, I can.

The critical stages
Thousands of women above 30 years desire to get husbands. They are willing. But some of them cannot. Even if they can, they do so with pain, tension and delay. For men, it is a 50/50 split. One half wants to marry, but low-income power makes it difficult for them to do so. The other half can, but they are not willing. This one is a bigger problem. So when a single woman gets entangled with this can- do but will- not man, and she thinks she has everything going for her, she is in trouble.

She just cannot understand why Michael cannot propose marriage. She throws everything into the relationship, giving it all her time, emotions and self only to be disappointed. Then she weeps: “Oh God, I gave him everything.” What she fails to understand is that her strategy was wrong. All her attention was on the man’s ability- I can, without focusing on his commitment- I will, where the real problem lies.
Now you can understand why many relationships do not end in marriage. The first thing any woman in a serious relationship should determine is the ability and commitment of her man for marriage. There has to be a balance for that marriage proposal to come from the man. If there is any imbalance, there will be no proposal.

My Email: ericosamba@yahoo.com

Monday, 4 June 2007

Bridal Marketing (3)

Is he serious?
Women searching for husbands ask each other this question. It is one of their biggest dilemmas. The reality is that you may never know if your man is serious. He may even be pretending. Just when you begin to give him your all, he slips away. That is why you have to love with your eyes wide open. That will help you detect the indicators of infidelity.
“So how do I know if my man is serious?” Consider this “Tip Sheet” of questions. They will guide you.

1. Has he proposed? Do not expect a marriage proposal early in your relationship. Few men do that.
2. Does he lie or tell you the truth? If he lies or mixes lies with some truth, it is an early warning signal that he is not serious.
3. Is he more interested in taking you out or buying you gifts? They are good. If he does not show any interest in knowing you, watch out! His commitment is far away.
4. Does he feel inferior or inadequate in any way? A man with a complex will not propose marriage.
5. Is there anything about you that makes him uncomfortable? Better deal with it else you will lose him.
6. Does he confide in you and discuss his plans and dreams with you? A man who wants to marry you will make you part of his drive for success.
7. Does he seek your advice? Many men because of ego may not. If your man does, he may well be serious.
8. Is he eager to know your past? What about his past? For some men this is not a big deal. For others it is. He wants to be sure.
9. Is he irritated when you make financial demands? It is a signal for you to stop.
10. Does he flirt with other women? What other indicator do you need to know he is not serious?
11. How does he react to your weaknesses? If he does it with concern and is willing to help you overcome them, then he is serious. If he does it with disrespect, be careful! A man who wants to marry you will respect you.
12. Does he give you due recognition among his friends, colleagues, associates and family members? If he does, that is positive.
13. Was he consistent in seeing you and spending time with you? Now he no longer comes around and gives excuses? This is a signal that all is not well.
14. Is he at ease with members of your family? If not, do something about it.
15. Is he in touch with an old “flame?” If he is, please use wisdom to handle him else he will quit.
16. Does he show uncomfortable interest in your sisters and your girl friends? Watch out! You may be displaced.
17. Has he ever discussed marriage with you? If you mention it how does he react? If he is uncomfortable, you have a long way to go.

Bridal Marketing (2)

“I am not cheap”

We know you are not, but how come you have not gotten a husband? What has cheapness got to do with this? Just read on. If you are not cheap, it means you are expensive. And no man wants to marry such a woman. You will finish his money in no time. Read the credo of the single Nigerian woman: “I am not cheap, so I pretend and I play hard to get.”

This can work for dating not for marriage. If you roll over your tactics from the former to the latter, you may not get a husband. Men don’t do that. Once they transit from dating to marriage, they change tactics. When a man dates, he focuses on the woman’s container. As marriage beckons, he shifts attention to her content. He begins to ask questions. “Can this woman cook? Is she prudent? Will she accommodate my family members?” For the man, it is question time. He never asked them during dating because he just wanted a good time.

After half time, the woman is eager for marriage. Realities have set in. The man’s commitment is challenged because he knows that marriage is; for better, for worse. He knows for better, the woman will stay and submit to him. For worse, she may quit. He ponders over this. If he is not convinced about marrying her, he quits the relationship. “But you said you loved me,” she tearfully pleads. “Things have changed,” he replies. Things have really changed because the affair has moved from pretense to reality.

“I am not cheap. If I fall for him easily, he will take me for granted and treat me shabbily. That is why I play hard to get.” Who is asking you to fall? The man knows the game and plays along, plotting his entry and exit strategies. This is something some women do not know. The day a man starts a relationship, he is already working out how he will escape when the heat comes.
Making it visible that she is not cheap, pretense and playing hard to get are triplet behavioural traits of some home bred Nigerian women. Date any one, you will find two in her. Not being cheap is the mindset of such women even when no man is dating them. This thinking tells them not to “fall” easily for any man who is “toasting” (the Nigerian branding for a man wooing a woman) them.

The belief
Nigerian women believe that if they make it difficult for men to win their love, the men well value and respect them. Another dimension of not being cheap is making it difficult for the man to take her to bed. There is some sense in this. But in many cases, women do not manage this romance strategy well. They either over- do it or send the wrong signal to men that they are expensive. And this can delay marriage.
A man can pester you for long if you play hard to get. But it is not a guarantee he will propose marriage. In doing this, many women wrongly create the impression that, “I am not easy to maintain, I am expensive,” whereas what they actually want to tell the man is: “Do not take me for granted. I have Godly virtues. You have to value me.” And so there’s a communication gap.

In this market, the man’s bride impression rules him and it affects his choice of a wife. If you show you are expensive, trouble knocks because men will perceive you as a problem and not a solution. The question agitating the man’s mind is, “Can I maintain this woman?” This creates a dilemma in romantic relationships. And resolving it requires a common understanding of, “I am not cheap” so that you can send the right messages across.

But this is not an easy task because; men and women are on opposite ends of the romance table. A woman’s understanding of not being cheap is emotional. For the man, it is financial. It means spending his money. But not being cheap in the real sense is the measure of a woman’s self-confidence and self worth rather than the consumption of a man’s money. There is still no consensus on this as both sexes hold strongly to their positions. If there is, dating and getting married would be a lot easier, tidier and less stressful.

Defense
Playing hard to get is a defensive mechanism which can increase your emotional problems. When you go defensive with a man, you are at a disadvantaged position and sharp shooters will exploit it. If a man approaches you and you like him, please get along with him with all your dignity and chastity intact.
Why pretend you are not interested when you really are? The man begins to misbehave, leave him. Stop saying, “I am not cheap.” Men have a different understanding of it. Begin to declare who you are. “I am a motivator. I can reduce the blood pressure of a man. I am a bundle of benefits.” You must know whom you are to make any headway in this market.

Being cheap has nothing to do with the ease or difficulty of a man winning your heart. It has more to do with your “cash and carry” approach to relationships. In today’s marriage market, you don’t play hard for the man to get you; you play well to get him. As you do this, name your price and promote yourself.

Bridal Marketing

How can single women above 30 years get husbands without pain?
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This question can be answered by me, the author, and a book publisher, to empower millions of single women above 30 years who are struggling to get married, to get their dream husbands (Mr. Right), easily.
We can help them to accomplish their dreams of blissful marriage if you publish my book titled: “I Want a Husband.” The book offers an engaging content we can use to tap the fortunes of a ready global market and make good money for both of us.

This book is for articulate, single women above 30 years who want husbands, but they are finding it difficult to accomplish. Such women are well educated, assertive, financially independent, urban dwellers and know what they want. They belong to the A, B, and C1 social class. They desire to get married, but for reasons they do not understand cannot get Mr. Right. And age is not on their side. Many of them are accomplished professionals. They can sell other products and services, but they do not know how to sell themselves to suitors in the marriage market.

This trend is supported by statistics as it appears there are more single women than eligible, single men in many countries. The U.S. 2000 census figures gives an idea of the market size for this book: There were 28 million single women above 35 years, and 18 million single men of same age bracket in that year. Remember, most men prefer to marry younger women. You can see why it is no longer easy for middle-aged women to get husbands. They need help which “I Want a Husband” offers in a simple language, to promote easy understanding and application.

The answer lies in marketing. That is the central message of my book. It shows single women how they can apply winning marketing strategies to get husbands. It offers a unique marketing program which I call, The Who Are You (The Way) program which they can follow to get their dream men. The book (word count: 41,120) is set in 30 Chapters and split into five sections namely: Introduction, The Marriage Marketing Mix (3M), Marketing Dynamics, Application and Epilogue.

“I Want a Husband” is essentially about the marketing of emotions to get results. It is written in a language and packaged in a format that will emotionally connect with the reader. It shows in a clear and simple way, how single women can transform themselves into brands and position effectively in the marriage market to get husbands quick. It guides and shows them, how they can manage their emotions to avoid heart-breaks and how to be focused in their husband search. It also offers practical steps on how they can discover who they are, and how to determine the mix of suitable marketing strategies they can use to get the type of husbands they want.

The audience for this book can be easily identified and reached in any country. They are aging women (including divorcees and widows) who are nursing emotional needs, wounds and pain. They desire to get married and erase the pains of past relationships that failed and to be fulfilled. Many of them are becoming exasperated or frustrated. They are looking for quick solutions to their romantic problems and they have the money to buy the book.
To make the book sell well, I kept the writing style motivational and conversational. I also laced it with stories, feasible comparisons, humor, wisdom and common sense, simple practical steps they can take to get husbands, and teasers to brainstorm which I call, "Husband Alerts." The “Alerts” (there are 10 of them) were put to make such women think positively and creatively to achieve quick results and to drive their marketing actions to get husbands.

The book also offers some unique personal marketing innovations such as: (i) The Husband Exchange- a new marketing facility for brides; (ii) the 3M Matrix- which helps single women to determine their positioning in the marketplace; (iii) Expositions on the nature and dynamics of the Marriage Market to promote understanding; (iv) The Container-Content Attention Grid-which helps brides to discover and market the solutions and benefits in them; and how they can build their character and self confidence.
These innovations have helped to make my book different from others, and to be a personalized and interactive medium that will engage the reader and motivate her to reach out and get her husband. The language is simple, written in short sentences and in the first person, and it builds confidence of the reader. This is deliberate to keep women upbeat, to be joyful and to believe in themselves. The feeling the book will evoke in readers, will certainly make great numbers of women to buy it, and read it.

What makes me qualified to write this book? I have a background and training in Chemistry, Marketing and Journalism. I attended Government College Umuahia, Nigeria and the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. I am a business writer, editor, storyteller, public speaker and a marketing professional. I am a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, U.K. I have written more than 1,000 articles and stories in many publications. My 23 -year working experience has largely been spent on writing, communications and financial journalism.

Consumer Marketing

Should You Clap For Your Customers?



Does it make sense to clap for your customers? It does not, you answer. You may be right, for the conventional way is for an audience to clap for a speaker, preacher, performer, artiste, player, or marketing professional making a presentation.
Can this be reversed? Yes it can, and whoever pioneers it will certainly blaze the trail for a new communications order that can bring profitable results. And it means that in these hard times, it certainly makes business sense to clap for your audience, especially your customers, so that you can sell more. That may sound odd but it is a different kind of sound, the sound of wisdom and common sense. But how do you rationalize this? You ask again. Let us begin from the fundamentals.
I have always advised marketing professionals to go against conventional practice and begin to clap for their customers. Doing so would be unusual but that is what will guarantee unusual results in the unusual marketplace now. Why? Because the dynamics of the global economy have become very unusual, and so have the players, regulators, customers expectations, and competitor strategies. To get and hold the attention of your clients, customers, you have to clap for them so that you can prosper.
You no longer have to wait for your audience to clap for you, no matter your spectacular marketing performance. Begin to clap for them to show appreciation and maintain their loyalty. If they clap for you for impressing them, clap louder for them in return so that you can sell more.Sometime ago, the banking industry in Nigeria was jittery over a fake list of distressed banks that was circulating. No one knew the origin of that list but it was an unusual competitive strategy which the Central Bank of Nigeria frowned at, branding it de -marketing. And so, if market forces become unusual, why don't you adopt unusual marketing strategies that are not illegal to consolidate your hold on consumers, increase market share, and improve bottom line. You want to tighten your hold on your customers or clients, begin to clap for them. And clapping in this sense is figurative, not necessarily with your hands. It is marketing clap.
Does marketing clap differ from hand clapping? Not really. It is just that the actions are different, but the motive is the same. Hand clapping is when you hit your open palms together several times to show appreciation, approval, or enjoyment over some activity, game, performance, or demonstration.
Hand clapping is an action that communicates a message that you are pleased. And it is spontaneous and done repeatedly in quick succession. That means that you hardly clap for something you do not approve of. And you cannot clap with one hand.
Watch the person who claps. She smiles, her eyes beaming with delight. In many cases it is accompanied by loud cheering and ovation. The result is a contented person, spectator, or participant expressing delight with clapping of hands and a beaming face.
Clapping is an expression of delight, a thank-you action, a friendly gesture, and an indication of welcome, support, and encouragement. Above all, it is an action that says, I value you, I encourage you, you are excellent, you have done well, please keep it up.
In soccer, when spectators at a stadium clap and roar, they are appreciating good play. And when they cheer their team, they are encouraging the players to play better and score goals. The message is clear: You have to clap to prosper.
Cheering is a step ahead of clapping and both actions show the nature of your audience. When your audience claps for you, they are spectators that appreciate you. But when they cheer, they become your supporters. So the challenge for you as a business owner, CEO, or a marketing professional is to clap for your customers/clients and motivate them to become your supporters. They are the audience you need in these unusual times to remain competitive and to prosper.
Spectators differ from supporters. The former stand by you when the going is good; when you are doing well, winning, and getting results. But the fact of life and business is that you may not win always. That is when they abandon you and switch loyalty to your competitors until you get your act together.
Not so for supporters. They stand by you always in the best and worst of times. They can even strengthen their support by forming a Supporters Club. Where you go, they go. Where you stay, they stay. When your performance drops, they cheer even louder. They detect your weaknesses and point them out to you like technical advisers of football teams.
So you can imagine what happens when you empower your spectators (customers) to become your supporters. You will thrill them so much that they will become life members of your brand, business or club. That means there is no going back in their business relationship with you. And so when you clap for your audience, you are reversing the thank you order. You are effectively saying, "Thank you for thanking me". You have to clap to prosper.
Have you considered how refreshing it would be if teachers clap for students, state governors clap for citizens, parents clap for children, bosses clap for juniors, marketing directors clap for sales managers, masters clap for servants, husbands clap for wives. It will unleash a social and marketing upheaval of more sales, of change and contentment in homes, schools, the sales force, and the workplace. Morale would surge; sales increase; relationships improve; old wounds healed; bitterness, resentment and forgiveness erased; courage developed; and customer loyalty strengthened.
Marketing claps go beyond hand claps, and they can improve your bottom line. You think it will not work? Try this. If your daughter is reciting a poem and suddenly misses the lines, begin to clap for her and even cheer. You will suddenly see her confidence build up, mental faculties re-organize, and she quickly remembers her lines and completes her poem. That is how it works. Clap for your customers and clients, you will boost their confidence, promote loyalty and patronage, and transform them from spectators to supporters. Besides, they will see your humility. Nothing thrills an audience when they see humility inside excellence. It is a winning combination that guarantees effective leadership, marketing thrust, and big returns.
There lies the secret of clap and prosper, a process that begins with excellence, humility, and dovetails to more sales. These qualities stand out in a marketplace that is choked with pride and fraud.
Jesus Christ of Nazareth demonstrated this when He washed the feet of His disciples telling them that whoever wants to lead the pack should be the servant of all. That is wisdom. Clapping for your customers may go against conventional practice, but it is wisdom. And what do the scriptures say about wisdom in the book of Proverbs 8: 18-19, and 21. "Riches and honor are with me. Enduring riches and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, yes than fine gold, and my revenue than choice silver. That I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth".
Dear CEO's and marketing professionals, humility goes with wisdom. Humble yourself by clapping for your audience. How do you do that? In so many ways. If you give long service awards, you are clapping for your employees. When you use sales promotions, loyalty and reward programs in marketing your business, you are clapping for your customers. Wherever there is no reward for loyalty, customers remain spectators and hardly become supporters.
When a state governor builds infrastructure and implements programs that improve quality of life, he is clapping for the electorate. When he was campaigning on the soap box for their votes, they clapped for him. Now is the time to clap for them.
When a church organizes a crusade or retreat and serves free refreshments and accommodation instead of asking for tithes and offerings, it is clapping for the congregation saying "thank you" for coming. You have to clap to prosper.
When a service provider lowers tariff or offers free service for a certain period, it is clapping for its customers.
Same way for corporate bodies and professionals. Change your marketing communications strategies for the time has come for you to clap and prosper. Do not delay.
Eric Okeke is a storyteller, author, editor, copywriter and media consultant. He is one of Nigeria's most experienced financial journalists. He is author of best selling book, I Want a Husband. His strenghts are writing, speaking, humor, publicity, and storytelling. His email: ericosamba@yahoo.com

Thursday, 31 May 2007

The Marketing of Emotions

The marriage market:
Why are professional women above 30 finding it increasingly difficul to get husbands? Is there anything like the marriage market? How can a single woman who desire's Mr. repackage herself into a brand and position properly in the marriage market to get a husband? Why do women pretend and does pretence add value to them in their quest to Mr. Right?

These and many more questions are the issues Im addressing in my new best selling book titled: "I Want a Husband" just published in Nigeria. It wil soon be published in Malays
This book is a narrative non-fiction of the how-to/self help genre. It is essentially about the marketing of emotions to get results. It is written in a language and packaged in a format that will emotionally connect with the reader. It shows in a clear and simple way, how single women can transform themselves into brands and position effectively in the marriage market to get husbands quick. It guides and shows them, how they can manage their emotions to avoid heart-breaks and how to be focused in their husband search. It also offers practical steps on how they can discover who they are, and how to determine the mix of suitable marketing strategies they can use to get the type of husbands they want.